Is Fences Based on a True Story? A Masterpiece of American Theatre
Is Fences Based on a True Story? In ‘Fences,’ Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson, a garbage worker who lives with his wife Rose and son Cory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1950, with his family.
How does it work? Troy used to play professional baseball, but he never got the chance to play because he was too old by the time the chance came up.
His son, Cory, wants the same chance now. The rest of the movie is about whether or not Troy tells Cory to follow his dream of making it big as a football player.
The 2016 movie is full of great performances by Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Mykelti Williamson, Russell Hornsby, and others.
The interesting screenplay and setting in Pittsburgh in the 1950s give us a clear picture of the physical and emotional difficulties a working-class Black family faced at that time. They also show us how Troy’s family works.
Keeping this in mind, let’s find out if ‘Fences’ is based on a true story!
Is Fences Based on a True Story?
No, “Fences” was inspired by a true story. It is based on August Wilson’s 1987 play of the same name, which won the Pulitzer Prize.
The 2016 movie Fences was based on August Wilson’s play of the same name, which was written in 1985 as part of his “Pittsburgh Cycle” series. In order to stay true to the original story, the people who made Fences used Wilson’s playscript. This is why Wilson is the only person who is recognized for writing Fences.
In 1987, both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play were given to the play. Wilson was inspired to write the play about the lives of African Americans in Pittsburgh in the 1950s. However, the characters are not based on real people.
Boxer Charley Burley is a Loose Model for Fences’ Troy Maxson
Even though Denzel Washington’s character in Fences is not based on a real person, fighter Charley Burley gave August Wilson ideas for Troy Maxson.
According to the book Black Perspectives, Burley was Wilson’s older friend when he was younger. Because Wilson and his own father sometimes fought, Burley was like a second father to him. Burley was a great fighter who had a great record of wins. Unfortunately, like Troy in “Fences,” he had to quit and work as a garbage collector in Pittsburgh because he was black and money was tight.
What is the Story of Fences?
In the movie, Troy Maxson never makes it to the big leagues, just like his real-life rival Charley Burley never got to play in the big leagues. Later, Burley worked for the garbage department, just like Troy. Even though it’s clear from the movie that he was too old by the time teams started letting black players in, he says he was turned down because he was black.
Even though Troy’s pain and anger are tied to a part of his mind that isn’t very active, they often come out in the worst ways. This hurts the people around him, especially his wife Rose, who has done so much for him in their 18-year marriage, and his son Cory, who wants to be a football player.
Troy almost doesn’t realize that he can’t let his son get what was taken away from him. Cory’s selection to play football for his college team, to be exact. The story of “Fences” is about whether Troy can get past this obstacle and, if so, how. The title is a great metaphor for people and feelings we need and those we should avoid.
Viola Davis told NPR that “Fences” was a trip or “portrait” of not just a woman, but of womanhood itself, with all its smiles and troubles. Denzel, on the other hand, said that Troy’s path was spiritual, “from hell to hallelujah,” even though it was divisive to the point of hate.
Denzel said in an interview, “‘From hell to Hallelujah’ was one of the first things I wrote on the script when I started rehearsing for the play six years ago. It just came to me.”
“Also, at the beginning of the play, he keeps saying, ‘Aw, hell.'” the many sides of their personalities added. This is awful. Oh, forget that. This is awful. By the end of the show, he is shouting “Hallelujah!” So, the character’s story helped me grow as a person.
If God were looking, he would think, “That’s as far as he can go.” This is very different from how we think of Troy, who, in his own words from the movie, “wrestled Death and won,” even though Death promised to come back.
So, his flaw, which is that he thinks he can fight Death, is what makes him more human, and his path is similar to the character’s arc as played by Denzel.